ABBY caught up with Madame Annie within a moment. And she found the middle aged warden to be as large hearted as the rumours had it.
Abby called. ‘Excuse me, ma’am! Please I need your help…’
The young lady was a little surprised when the older woman instantly turned to attend to her, and even led her outside through the side doors for a more private space.
Abby poured out her distress to a listening ear. She told Annie about the bullies in her cell, causing her sleepless nights since she came there.
Madame Annie had a soothing balm for Abby’s tender sore. She pitied the younger woman and sympathised with her.
‘Mm… I understand. But it’ll be okay, dear; don’t worry,’ Annie said in a soft, soothing voice.
Madame Annie assured the new inmate that the situation she was reporting was only a welcome ritual which inmates conducted for newcomers.
‘Don’t you worry, my dear. It’ll all be over before the week runs out,’ Annie promised. ‘We’ve tried to stop the welcome ritual, but you know there’s a limit to what we can do to you people.
‘But put your mind at rest, dear. It only takes a week. Just bear with it a little more.’
Abby was mesmerised by the warmth and pleasantness that oozed from the older woman’s manner with words. And her long, wan face brightened up in a bright smile.
Abby was pleased beyond expression. She gasped, ‘Thank you so much! Thank you so much ma’am!’
Abby walked away with a brilliant smile. She’d got her good news. Her sleepless night would be over in a few days.
The young woman smiled to herself now, as she walked back to her seat in the hall. The altar call was still on as Abby got to her place. And she heard the preacher make a last call.
‘I will call for the last time now,’ the teenage evangelist said. ‘If you are out there and haven’t still surrendered your life to Christ, come now while Jesus is calling you!
‘You still have the present; you still have now… nobody has tomorrow! The Son of God is the only assurance of a lasting peace and a lasting rest!’
Abby was all smiles as she settled in her seat now. It’s just a matter of a few days, and everything will be over! she said to herself.
Why do I need to make a public show of myself kneeling before a small boy out there? Why do I need that when my rest comes in 2 to 3 days?
The young woman lifted her gaze now. She looked around for the gold hearted warden.
And there she was on the outside, talking with another person already.
Abby smiled. ‘Madame Annie is just the angel I need!’
◙ ◙ ◙
Abby Camille gathered the fortitude to forget her worries that Saturday. All the bullying as well as the sleepless nights. Abby accepted them as the natural thing the kind hearted madam called it.
But by the next morning on Sunday, after a long night of torture from the hands of her assaulters, the young woman had to rethink the idea of rest and freedom.
For she found Madame Annie’s words of yesterday as some vague and empty reassurances. She found them as hollow, hollow platitudes.
Abby admitted that prison wasn’t a good place to stay and cope with. She’d never had to wrestle with anyone before. Yet in only days of her stay in prison Abby had been forced to learn the art of combat to survive. It had been a tug of war staying sane in her cell.
Abby didn’t know what else she might have to do or become, for the sake of survival. Prison, as she was finding out, was the place of weird transformations. So Abby wanted to leave, and so badly.
Fortunately for the young woman, her lawyer came visiting that Sunday. And Abby raised her desperate concern in their decisive talk.
To Abby, her lawyer’s admonition first seemed like Madame Annie’s pointless reassurances. But it was of a different kind in the long run. In that it was practical, and it was towards freedom.
Abby’s lawyer Ms Betty Clarke, admonished her to take everything that came her way quietly, and without fighting back.
Lawyer Clarke encouraged her client that everything would soon be over, if Abby could manage to keep her cool in the midst of everything.
When Abby was obviously astonished and puzzled, Ms Clarke explained that this was necessary, because she was already contemplating working towards Abby being released on parole.
‘And to be released on parole soon enough,’ the attorney continued, ‘you’ll need your best behaviour here, Ms Abby. I mean one hundred percent of good behaviour!
‘You’ve got to be as easygoing as a sheep, Ms Abby – if we want your parole to be granted when you apply. You’ve got to be one hundred percent sheepish!’ Lawyer Clarke stressed.
Abby nodded. ‘That wouldn’t be hard to do,’ she replied. ‘I’ll just stay friendless like I’ve been in the past few days.
‘I can bury my head in the books I get from home, since talking to anyone here is courting enough trouble for myself. I’ll just keep to me and be a nice girl for my own sake!’ she finished in a small, feeble voice.
But then Abby didn’t know her resolve would be an uphill climb.
For in the midst of a pack of wolves, the sheepishness of a little lamb as Abby, wouldn’t suffice as a survival trait.
Abby needed more to breathe, to live.
Click HERE to see other chapters of the free suspense eNovel Eclipse
© 2021 by Kayode & Tola Olla